back to article Zuck on that! Instagram loses HALF its hipsters in a month

Think users don't care about copyright? Time to think again. The spectacular fallout from Instagram's photo landgrab continues. Shortly before Christmas, the Facebook-owned social network proposed changing its terms of use so it could exploit members' photographs for profit - without compensating the owners. This prompted a …

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  1. Turtle

    : )

    A very heart-warming story; it brought a smile to my face!

    : )

    1. Thomas 4

      Re: : )

      I wouldn't be cheering just yet, if this article is correct. It's like chasing away a pirahna and ignoring a very hungry great white shark sneaking up behind you.

    2. El Presidente
      Stop

      Re: : ) Try *<:oB instead

      http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/news/2235856/photography-industry-shows-mass-opposition-to-government-copyright-changes

      Mass opposition to this foolish attempt at legislating for a problem which doesn't exist outside the chocolate factory, silicone toy roundabout or academia. All three are fantasy worlds constructed outside of reality.

      I think this coalition will go down in history as the most farcical, most inept 'government' that the UK electorate didn't even vote in. Utter contemptible fools the lot of them. From taxation to pensions, from welfare to immigration. Everything they introduce as a policy they overturn it almost immediately or it's demonstrated as unworkable by some grownups in the civil service. Either that or they just lie and blame the media for getting it wrong.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: : ) Try *<:oB instead

        Although the current ConDems are still topped by NuLabour for sheer unadulterated insanity.

        On the bright side, perhaps somebody will come up with a way to hold MPs personally responsible for something.

        1. TheOtherHobbes

          Re: : ) Try *<:oB instead

          Not really.

          While there was a lot wrong with Blair and Brown, not least Blair's creepy habit of filling the cabinet with Catholic nutters, and Brown's habit of keeping some of them after Blair had been blackmailed out of No 10, NuLab never went beyond ordinary corporate corruption.

          The ConDems have tried to make a career out of punching poor people in the face - their definition of 'poor' including anyone on less than seven figures a year, and not a few formerly viable businesses too.

      2. Mark .

        Re: : ) Try *<:oB instead

        Forgot the Digital Economy Act already did we?

        I'm not fan of the Tories, but the real depressing thing is the lack of decent opposition, and it's hard to tell the difference sometimes.

        On immigration, will they reverse the changes? No, because it was Labour who made immigration far worse (introducing 2 year "probation" periods for married couples, introducing the dumb "Life in the UK" trivia test that people have to pass, raising the visa fees to extortionate levels etc).

        "Everything they introduce as a policy they overturn it almost immediately or it's demonstrated as unworkable by some grownups in the civil service. Either that or they just lie and blame the media for getting it wrong."

        I prefer it when things are overturned or shown as unworkable! Unlike the years when the majority Government went full steam ahead despite opposition (ID cards?)

        Governments are never "voted in" btw - and Labour's share of the popular vote wasn't actually any better, even when they got a majority. And no, I'm not a Tory! I just hate this rewriting of history that forgets that Labour do all this stuff too.

    3. LarsG
      Meh

      They're not leaving

      They're not leaving because of copyright, they are leaving because it is just a short lived fad with some people.

      'Hey I've got to join Instagram' they shout and a few months later 'just so boring to keep it up'.

      Granted there will be a hardcore but face it, what's the point of it? Especially when it doesn't benefit you.

  2. FartingHippo
    Alert

    Obligatory xkcd

    As usual, hits the nail on the head.

    1. Andrew Moore

      Re: Obligatory xkcd

      I don't think it does- for that strip to work it has to assume that Chad did not solicit the business to store the stuff in the first place.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Obligatory xkcd

      I saw this xkcd and it does make a point, but it is (unusually) not one I agree with...

      Doesn't instagram get its money through ads? If so then changing the terms and conditions is a little like having their cake and eating it.

      So wouldn't the cartoon would be more akin to "Chad" deciding to (suddenly) make money out of the stuff stored in his garage while simultaneously picking up money from all the nike logos on the side?

      *shrug*

  3. Ketlan
    Happy

    LOL

    How sad. Never mind. :-D

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Heartening

    Its is pleasing to see so many people voting with their feet and giving Instagram/Facebook a bit of a shock, but as the article says, BritGov is lining up something even worse, and it would be a little difficult for millions of us to leave and go elsewhere.

    Ah well, at least the Instagram users have set a good example to the rest of us : it really is possible to protest effectively when companies think they can get away with abusing the average user.

    1. Mike 68

      Re: Heartening

      Protesting works against companies, they have profits to protect. But the UK gov don't care about protests. Iraq, student fees, disability living allowance, thousands, if not millions, have protested. The government have ignored them. They'll ignore any protest about this

    2. Martin Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Heartening

      ".....BritGov is lining up something even worse, and it would be a little difficult for millions of us to leave and go elsewhere...."

      No - but we could remove them at the next election. If only there was a convincing alternative....

      1. Fibbles
        Unhappy

        Re: Heartening

        You can vote for whoever you like but when policy direction is being steered by civil servants with a pro-Google agenda it isn't going to make any difference.

    3. Steve the Cynic

      Re: Heartening

      "it would be a little difficult for millions of us to leave and go elsewhere"

      Um... I left and went elsewhere. It's not so hard. In fact, the hardest part has been adjusting to the ability to openly buy French wine without giving ungodly amounts of money to the UK government.

      And being able to buy Mimolette (very hard orange French cheese) any time I go to the supermarket, rather than the rare occasions that Sainsbury's feels like getting some in.

      And cap-less ADSL2+ with a download rate over 15Mbits/sec.

      And a bunch of other things.

      If millions of people did just leave and not come back, the UK government would have to take notice. I'd actually rather they didn't all do it, because then HMG would do something daft like try to tax its citizens on their world-wide income, and I don't want that, thanks.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Heartening

        Well, I don't think taking to the streets would do any good (and besides, it's so uncivilised).

        Changing the government won't do anything either (that's a serious lesson from the last 15 years).

        And leaving the country is a bit extreme for something like this. I'm quite attached to the place, so I'd rather see the problem resolved within the parliamentary process.

        Umpteen million people dumped Instagram because they had been made aware of something that ordinarily they wouldn't have noticed. That's the simple power of communication - aleviating ignorance can be quite effective.

        If the Business and Enterprise Reform Bill has yet to have it's final going-over in the Lords, then it is quite possible to enlighten enough people that their Lordships become aware of the issues, and maybe the minister involved will also come to realise that he/she was woefully unaware of the consequences of this part of the Bill.

      2. JDX Gold badge

        Re: Heartening

        Wine and cheese Vs millions of French people. A tough choice.

      3. streaky
        FAIL

        Re: Heartening

        "And cap-less ADSL2+ with a download rate over 15Mbits/sec"

        That one is doable anywhere not in the third world. My 80mbit cap-less FTTC works fine?

        1. Steve the Cynic

          Re: Heartening

          "My 80mbit cap-less FTTC works fine?"

          Put like that as a question, I can't really help you. You'd have to tell me. ;)

          When I signed up for the ASDL2+, *four*years*ago*, I could have had 100Mbps fibre into the flat, also cap-less, but I decided that 15Mbps ("jusqu'à 20") was more than enough for my needs, and ADSL could be done without having to negotiate with the landlord.

      4. Mayhem

        Re: Heartening

        >Um... I left and went elsewhere. It's not so hard.

        Well, it will be interesting to see what happens to the brits scattered through the EU if Cameron goes ahead with playing silly buggers with Brussels and repatriates some of his immigration rules.

        Would be amusing if all those retirees on the Costa del Sol suddenly got deported back home with a requirement to apply for visas etc again?

    4. dssf

      Re: Heartening

      Utterly DISheartening!

      Is the UK government desperately trying to create aNOTHER exodus of "pilgrims. How in the hell do these MPs and business cronies of theirs think they can just co-opt individual artistic property rights? So long as material is not criminal, seditious, or war-starting, they can go retire before they get fired by the masses. If they co-opt by power of law the art of an ordinary person who needs to earn money in order to pay taxes to avoid going to jail/prison while trying to live an ordinary life, they they are being piratical. And, we know what governments feel about pirates (IP, maritime, etc). Copy MY stuff and try to blatantly use or down-stream license it, you will never see the end of me. All Artists, writers, makers, etc, have the right to control distrtribution of his/her works, and if an intending acquirer cannot gain rights, TOUGH. It doesn't mattter the price or the benefits proffered, NO means NO! Some Artists may not want money, but also may not want their work stolen, bastardized, or repurposed for things incompatible with the Artist's goals.

      Now, (assuming the UK doesn't call in a favor for a special extradition of me to some nondescript place for the "troublemakers") I suppose that I had better not try to EVER visit the UK (am I overreactting), but this is a passionate, rage-inducing turn of events, that some well-off class of power holders thinks it can dictate to makers what will become of their property if they dare to tip off the world that it exists. They'd better morph any stolen art/creations so extensively that the ripped-off artist cannot recognize his or her own works in play without compensation.

      Where is the galactic fly swatter to smack down unctuous officials when they get out of hand. Entroy is good for life and invention, but bullshit it heinous.

      If I am ranting incorrectly, please, do please tell me where I am going off the handle.

      1. Andrew Norton

        Re: Heartening

        "How in the hell do these MPs and business cronies of theirs think they can just co-opt individual artistic property rights? "

        Er, they don't? Possibly because it's not quite as Andrew says...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Andrew Norton: Re: Heartening

          "'How in the hell do these MPs and business cronies of theirs think they can just co-opt individual artistic property rights?' Er, they don't? Possibly because it's not quite as Andrew says.."

          Say, that's a really good rebuttal. Except you left out the actual "rebuttal" part.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I often don't see eye-to-eye with Andrew, but if I'm going to call him out when he's wrong, I should point out when he's right, too. This is one of those times.

    1. Anne-Lise Pasch
      Thumb Up

      ^ This.

  6. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Excellent!!!

      Instagram is two guys in a shed, hardly an evil corporation.

      1. streaky
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Excellent!!!

        Is facebook two guys in a shed because that's who owns instagram. Wondering if maybe you've had your head buried in the sand for some time.. And yes facebook *is* evil.

        1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

          1. streaky
            Facepalm

            Re: Excellent!!!

            Yeah I was wondering what that was about - figured maybe they worked for Facebook or genuinely didn't know and were slightly embarrassed - or worse believe that Facebook actually isn't evil which is a frightening thought.

    2. Mark .

      Re: Excellent!!!

      Yeah, supporting "Let's try to destroy the most successful open source platform with software patents" is _such_ an improvement.

      If you want to give me an alternative to Windows, give me a real one.

      "It's the perfect illustration of why competition is important."

      Exactly, which is why going from "one company for OS" to "one company for OS, hardware and application distribution" is not exactly a step forward.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cue Nelson Muntz

    Point Finger at Zuckerberg

    HaHa

  8. Phil 66
    Meh

    Fact check?

    I may be missing something here, but if you visit the link to AppCheck, doesn't the graph suggest that Daily Active Users has actually gone from a peak of around 16 million users to around 9 million? (The 3rd graph down, with the red line.)

    The graph in the article is daily users as a percent of monthly users - 40% down to about 20%.

    Okay, so the main thrust of the argument is still the same, but y'know, pendants abound.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Fact check?

      The correct graph and figures have been added to the story.

      C.

    2. Goldmember

      Re: Fact check?

      "but y'know, pendants abound"

      What does neck jewellery have to do with anything?

      </pedant>

      1. JBR

        Re: Fact check?

        you're about to ruin my day if there's no way someone can't edit in an opening tag for that

  9. Irongut Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Nice to see Instazuck getting their just deserts.

    Now how do we make sure the same happens to Tory Dave and his copyright stealing mates?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Easy..

      .. find out which copyrights they own themselves and keep pushing to include it in the Bill.

      Many of them write, so books would be a good start (might even stop every single one of them bringing out their ghastly memoires). As a matter of fact, why not add Crwon Copyright to it? After all, you already paid for it with your taxes so it's criminal that you have to pay again.

      The moment they end up hurting their own pockets it will stop, but sadly not a second before that..

  10. Suricou Raven

    How many of those orphan works will actually be of value?

    The orphan works situation applies only where the copyright holder cannot be easily identified. That means anything with your name on it is going to be safe. How many works of actual 'value' might be affected. All I can envision is lots of people doing google image searches for stock photos and clipart and grabbing the first image they see without an obvious name or attribution. Your family photo holidays might end up decorating some travel companies leaflet but, being honest, you weren't going to get any money for them anyway.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Re: How many of those orphan works will actually be of value?

      "...being honest, you weren't going to get any money for them anyway."

      So what? That doesn't mean someone else *should* get money for them. You're probably never going to use your treadmill, either; does that mean I can take it to use myself? No - because it's yours. If the thing you want to do with it is to not do anything with it, that's your right - as much as utilizing it. What happens when your family's smiling faces end up adorning a billboard for the local neo-Nazi party? It doesn't matter, because you weren't going to get any money?

      It's not just about remuneration - it's about your right to control your own work.

    3. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: How many of those orphan works will actually be of value?

      If the photo's good enough to be published for commercial gain then it's good enough to be paid for.

    4. streaky
      Terminator

      Re: How many of those orphan works will actually be of value?

      There's a reason the bill includes measures for orphaned works, they're orphaned - nobody owns them. If you owned it you'd be able to enforce copyright. Think about it.

      There's massive libraries of data that effectively nobody owns that can't be used because the owners are untraceable. These are orphaned works.

      1. Turtle

        @streaky Re: How many of those orphan works will actually be of value?

        "There's a reason the bill includes measures for orphaned works, they're orphaned - nobody owns them. If you owned it you'd be able to enforce copyright. Think about it. There's massive libraries of data that effectively nobody owns that can't be used because the owners are untraceable. These are orphaned works."

        You do not have a good grasp of the issue. Example: first you assert that a work is orphaned because nobody owns it, and then you assert that the work is orphaned because the owner can't be found.

        Your first assertion is wrong: a work which no one owns is in the public domain and anyone can use it for anything and need not pay anyone, or ask anyone permissions, etc etc.

        But the idea that no one "effectively" owns particular "massive libraries of data" because the owners are untraceable does not at this point in time have any bearing on the matter. Even though the owner of this or that "massive library of data" (and who the fuck knows what such a bullshit euphemism stands for, anyway) might be untraceable for a prospective user, the "untraceable" owner STILL has the right to take action against the user should he find out about it. At this point in time that is the situation. It is the new Wydenist laws proposed in the UK that will change this, so that "being untraceable" - or, more importantly, being declared "untraceable" even if fraudulently or mistakenly - means that your work can be stolen by anyone who wants to take it.

    5. Turtle

      Re: How many of those orphan works will actually be of value?

      "The orphan works situation applies only where the copyright holder cannot be easily identified."

      Not true. Any work whose rights-owner can not be *contacted* is subject to loss of protection. And there is NO standard of what constitutes a good-faith or diligent search. I read of a case recently where a writer who had a NY Times best seller a few years ago, and has an agent, and is in the phone ffs, had his best seller classified as an orphan work BY AN AMERICAN LIBRARY. (I wish that I could recall the writer's name but it escapes me. I believe it was something like "salamander" but I can't find it.)

      Also bear in mind that the BBC routinely, as a matter of policy, strips all the metadata from all images it receives (or nicks from the web.) So anything that the BBC holds is automatically an "orphan work" - even if it was the BBC itself that killed the orphan work's parents...

      Also, I think that the question "How many of those orphan works will actually be of value?" is not meaningful. While most of works will indeed be void of all value and so the orphan works law will have no impact on them. But obviously this law is for enabling commercial exploitation of those works which do have value. And of those who either have "accidentally" produced a work of value, or who are capable of producing works of value thanks to skill or practice or just thanks to having a "knack", which of them should *ever* have to hear something along the lines of "Say, that was a work of real value that you produced there; so our corporation took that valuable work and used it for our own benefit and now it's not got any value anymore. Thanks!"?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Joke

        Re: How many of those orphan works will actually be of value?

        I believe it was something like "salamander" but I can't find it.

        See? Orphan work! :D

      2. streaky
        Meh

        Re: How many of those orphan works will actually be of value?

        "there is NO standard of what constitutes a good-faith or diligent search"

        Well it would be for a court to decide and given Berne they'd have to have a damn good reason on newish data.

        1. Turtle

          Wydenism in the UK: "Wydening" the Loopholes...

          "'there is NO standard of what constitutes a good-faith or diligent search'. Well it would be for a court to decide and given Berne they'd have to have a damn good reason on newish data."

          So every time someone wants to use any digitized or digital work, all anyone need do is claim that they conducted a "good-faith and diligent search and that it is - we promise, guv, really - an "orphan work", and wait until, firstly, the rights-holder finds out about it (and of course to do this, the rights-holder must spend time, money, and effort constantly scouring the internet for instances of his work or works being fraudulently listed as "orphaned"), then wait 'till the rights-holder spends the time and money to start a lawsuit, and then wait - possibly for years - until that lawsuit is adjudicated.

          I.e. having created something and obtained a copyright, the creator must now spend the rest of his life having to defend his right to be protected by that copyright. He needs to keep heaven only knows whom constantly apprised and informed of his whereabouts and ways to contact him. And he must be prepared to legally contest any number of fraudulent (or even mistaken) "orphan declarations" in who knows how many jurisdictions - a task that would quickly bankrupt most copyright holders. In the end this would only play into the hands of Google and its allied parasites.

          In fact, it is easy to imagine Google or similar thieves setting up (many) entities with the specific task of declaring works to be "orphans" - and applying this to both as large a number of works as possible, and to any given work as many times as possible, because they have nothing to lose, and eventually, most copyright holders will have to choose between going bankrupt or surrendering their rights to any number of avaricious and dishonest entities. And of course if the rights-holder does not find out about and can not contest, or is not informed (either intentionally or by oversight) of just one such "orphan declaration" then he loses his rights. So once again, this can only work to the detriment of the copyright holder and in favor of the tech companies and allied parasites.

          From an American perspective, the "Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill" can be seen as a manifestation of "Wydenism", a phenomenon named after Sen Ron Wyden (Fascist-OR), and which describes any legislation aimed at depriving vast numbers of people of legal and property rights for the benefit of a very small number of very wealthy corporations and the very wealthy people who own those corporations or significant blocks of shares in them. Wydenism, which as the preceding sentence clearly shows, is a form of fascism, often uses the tactic of erecting new barriers that make the enforcement of property and legal rights even cumbersome, burdensome,and onerous than they already are, so that even more people will voluntarily surrender their rights due to the new barriers that the Wydenist wants to erect to complicate the procedures for obtaining legal relief.

          Or to put it slightly differently, Wydenism seeks to "widen" the loopholes in the law that allow the tech oligarchs to get their filthy paws on other people's property, labor, effort, livelihoods, and lives.

          1. Turtle

            Addendum: Re: Wydenism in the UK: "Wydening" the Loopholes...

            I neglected to mention that Wydenism can also include legislative measures that curtail the (in the USA specifically) First Amendment rights (freedom of speech, freedom of association) and other civil rights of anyone criticizing tech companies as written in the IRFA, a bill which Wyden has sponsored:

            IRFA would make it a violation of the Sherman Act for “any copyright owners of sound recordings acting jointly, or any common agent or collective representing such copyright owners, to take any action that would prohibit, interfere with, or impede direct licensing.

            http://thetrichordist.com/2012/11/29/congressional-research-service-memo-on-constitutionality-of-irfa-section-5/ :

            The following is an excerpt from a memo by the Congressional Research Service on The Constitutionality of IRFA Section 5:

            "David Lowery, writing for the Thetrichordist.com, has argued that “Section 5 of IRFA is perhaps the most pernicious part of the bill, for it would make it illegal for anyone to criticize digital sound recording licensees. If IRFA becomes law, artists and artist organizations will need to watch what they say in public in opposition to [certain licensees’]direct licensing efforts.” It seems that Lowery takes issue with the use of the words ”any action” that would ”prohibit, interfere with, or impede ”negotiations.

            He argues that these terms are too broad and could apply even to those who would criticize licensees for attempting to negotiate direct licenses with copyright owners. Another concern cited by Lowery in opposition to Section 5 is the ambiguity inherent in the language “any copyright owners acting jointly.”

            This language does not necessarily seem to be limited to large member-based royalty collection organizations like SoundExchange. It may be broad enough to encompass, for example,the members of an individual band, who might be considered to be individual copyright owners, acting jointly. Under this broad reading of the language, an argument could be made that a band, posting its criticisms of direct licensing negotiations between a licensee and a copyright owner, would betaking an action that would interfere with a direct licensing negotiation, thereby violating Section 5.

            Though this hypothetical presents a broad interpretation of the language of Section 5, it is not an implausible one. It is possible that the language may be broad enough to cover a blog post by a band expressing their opinion regarding contract negotiations between a licensee and a copyright owner. Nonetheless, it seems unlikely that, in practice, Section 5 would impinge upon First Amendment rights" (Emphasis added.)

            Again, that long citation is from the Congressional Research Service Memo on the Constitutionality of IRFA Section 5.

            Sadly, the Congressional Research Service neglects to say exactly *why* Section 5 would be "unlikely in practice to impinge on First Amendment rights". Because, considering the amount of money at stake, and the ease with which these large and wealthy companies could subject any critics to crushing lawsuits and their crushing expenses, and the fact that the bill PERMITS legal action against any speech that "interferes" with their business - I think that the bill's "impingement on First Amendment rights" would be "guaranteed".

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Stop

              @Turtle Re: Addendum: Wydenism in the UK: "Wydening" the Loopholes...

              IRFA would make it a violation of the Sherman Act for “any copyright owners of sound recordings acting jointly, or any common agent or collective representing such copyright owners, to take any action that would prohibit, interfere with, or impede direct licensing.”

              I still fail to see how this would prohibit advocating against direct licensing. It's illegal to impede the course of justice, but it's not illegal to criticize the court system. It's illegal to impede someone from, say, exiting their home or driving their car, but it's not illegal to say they shouldn't be able to. Impediment and interference are actions, not speech. Advocacy is precisely that - advocacy; arguing that it could be construed as an 'interfering' is absurd. The precedent for independent advocacy of political or business policy is immense and uninterrupted; furthermore, since those involved with direct licensing negotiations (such as band members) are often copyright holders, if your reading of this wording were correct, it would be illegal for those on one side of the negotiations to negotiate in the first place!

              Additionally, even if someone attempted to interpret the law that broadly, any ambiguity would be settled quickly by precedents set by the first amendment. The first amendment can't be circumvented by legislature - that's the whole point. A judge isn't going to say, "This violates the first amendment, so I guess the first amendment doesn't apply here" - that's not how it works. If that were the case, there wouldn't be any laws thrown out on that basis.

              Freedom of speech in the case of political advocacy is essentially iron-clad; it's not an edge case - this is precisely the kind of situation for which the first amendment was made!

              You could argue that merely taking someone to court over the matter might have a chilling effect, but that would be the case with or without this provision. You can sue in civil courts on any basis - it's just a question of how quickly it will be thrown out. And in this case, I think even the most low-down bastards would see that trying to sue a lobbying group for lobbying would get them angrily booted out of the court and probably hit with costs.

              There are plenty of ways for big companies to manipulate the legal system to their advantage and use it to financially attack their opponents. This isn't one of them, and wasting your breath screaming about it only prevents you from defending against the real lines of attack.

              1. Turtle

                @David W: Re: @Turtle Addendum: Wydenism in the UK: "Wydening" the Loopholes...

                Did you read my post?

                If you read my post, did you notice that there was a long excerpt from the Congressional Research Service specifically addressing David Lowery's contention that Wyden's "Internet Radio Fairness Act" abridged the First Amendment rights of anyone who criticized direct licensing agreements?

                If you DID notice such a section, did you actually read it?

                If you actually read it, did you notice that the conclusion of the Congressional Research Service was?

                Evidently not.

                Let me put it here on the off-chance that maybe this time you will actually read it: "David Lowery, writing for the Thetrichordist.com, has argued that “Section 5 of IRFA is perhaps the most pernicious part of the bill, for it would make it illegal for anyone to criticize digital sound recording licensees. [...] Though this hypothetical presents a broad interpretation of the language of Section 5, it is not an implausible one. It is possible that the language may be broad enough to cover a blog post by a band expressing their opinion regarding contract negotiations between a licensee and a copyright owner.

                Let me paste part of your post: "There are plenty of ways for big companies to manipulate the legal system to their advantage and use it to financially attack their opponents. This isn't one of them, and wasting your breath screaming about it only prevents you from defending against the real lines of attack." So not only is your understanding of the law better than that of the Congressional Research Service since, after all, the only people who would use that service are the actual people who write and pass laws for the whole nation - but your understanding of the law surpasses that of the people who run the multi-billion dollar corporations for whom Wyden works, and the armies of lawyers who advise them. And your understanding surpasses theirs to such a degree that you can safely say that, in having their hireling Wyden advance this bill, they have chosen a course of action which is such a trifle that it does not even deserve your attention.

                If this is not a "real line of attack" ,what the fuck WOULD be? If this is not a "real line of attack" then nothing could be a "real line of attack".

                You know, I can understand you thinking that you know better than me, because after all I am just a commenter here on this site. That's exactly why I cited the opinion of the Congressional Research Service. But that you think that you are smarter than congressional researchers, incredibly successful business moguls and the swarms of lawyers that they retain, then yours is a pathological case.

                Oddly - and you might find this hard to believe - some people would think that an attack on the First Amendment by a US Senator meant to stifle criticism of multi-billion dollar corporations, even if doomed to ultimate failure, is a serious matter. You, for some reason, do not.

                I don't think that I have ever come across anyone like you before. Luckily, people with your kind of, errrr..., "outlook" are not too common. It would be funny - and altogether appropriate - if someone were to find a photo of you, declare it an "orphan work" and then use it to make a poster advertising the Special Olympics.

          2. Andrew Norton

            Re: Wydenism in the UK: "Wydening" the Loopholes...

            How is your horse doing?

            Don't have a horse for everyday transport? You use a car? Do you keep to below 4mph (2mph in cities) and have a man with a red flag/lamp walking in front to warn others?

            You don't?

            But in driving a car you've enabled tech oligarchs to get their filthy paws on other peoples livlihoods and lives, and effected their property and labor and effort (which is labor).

            BTW, since when is 'effort' rewardable?

            And your argument is based on one premise - that you just 'saying' you did a dilligent search is good enough. Whatcha going to do when they say 'prove it'? At which point you're straight back to regular old 'infringing'.

            Your outrage is based on a misreading of the law, expressed in a Daily Mail style outpouring of moral indignation.

            1. Turtle

              @Andrew Norton: Re: Wydenism in the UK: "Wydening" the Loopholes...

              Thanks for the incoherent reply. If you want to express your thoughts in a coherent manner, do not let me prevent you.

              The only statement that makes sense is "since when is 'effort' rewardable?"

              The matter here is not that people should or should be rewarded, but that their efforts as invested in the works that the Wydenists want to deprive of legal protection, should not be stolen. See the difference? People may or may not deserve to be rewarded for their efforts, but they should certainly be protected against having their efforts as embodied in the works they produce stolen.

    6. The FunkeyGibbon
      FAIL

      Re: How many of those orphan works will actually be of value?

      "Your family photo holidays might end up decorating some travel companies leaflet but, being honest, you weren't going to get any money for them anyway."

      I look forward to your outrage when your family photos are used to advertise something you dislike. How about a lovely smiling picture of you and the kids on the front of a EDL poster? Or maybe that would suit you so, what about EasyJet running a campaign with your kids on it that says "Don't end up looking like this, get away somewhere nice for your holidays?".

      Still, it's not as if they were going to pay you for them anyway...

    7. DF118
      Facepalm

      Re: How many of those orphan works will actually be of value?

      ...anything with your name on it is going to be safe.

      O rly?

    8. Peter Simpson 1
      Pirate

      Re: How many of those orphan works will actually be of value?

      "Your family photo holidays might end up decorating some travel companies leaflet but, being honest, you weren't going to get any money for them anyway."

      Well, I *might* have been able to get some money for them if I'd been asked...and perhaps the advertiser would have paid me.

      These are the same media companies who are whining that non-commercial file sharing on bittorrent deprives them of revenue, correct?

      I dunno, seems like they're proposing one set of rules for them and another set for the "consumers".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Peter Simpson 1

        "These are the same media companies who are whining that non-commercial file sharing on bittorrent deprives them of revenue, correct?"

        Are they?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Peter Simpson 1

        "'These are the same media companies who are whining that non-commercial file sharing on bittorrent deprives them of revenue, correct? I dunno, seems like they're proposing one set of rules for them and another set for the 'consumers'".

        I can't make out your point here. Could you explain it please?

  11. Richard 120

    Hmmm

    I'll have to check all of my cameras ability to add metadata and configure it with my identity if possible. Not that much of it goes out onto the interwebs, I don't trust cloudy things, I can't think why.

    1. El Presidente

      Re: Hmmm

      No point. The metadata will be stripped automatically.

      Mail Online do it as do other newspapers.

      Instant orphan works.

    2. Remy Redert

      Re: Hmmm

      Don't worry. The first thing the place you upload your pictures to will do is strip all the metadata for you. Wouldn't want that getting out onto the web would we? might contain private information you see.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Hmmm

        Although if this does go through, stripping metadata becomes a clear act of deliberate copyright infringement.

        Somebody should be able to make that stick.

        1. Peter Simpson 1

          Re: Hmmm

          "Somebody should be able to make that stick."

          Some highly paid lawyer, probably. The amount of money *you* would see would be insignificant and probably not worth all the pain.

          Contrast that with the ability of large media corps to field teams of legal wranglers and you see the problem.

          Their copyrighted works are valuable and will be defended from infringement at all costs -- yours?

          Not so much..

      2. dssf

        Re: Hmmm Water-Steg

        A Sharp phone I bought in Tokyo in 2004, and other phones I've seen in Korea in 2012, will let users add painted-on-like info to the photo. Now, if the site to which the photo is uploaded dares to remove THAT, and dares to try to justify it by saying some sh*t such as "viewers of your photos do not want to be distracted by textual copyright info...", I'd say really, REALLY run over such an asshole with a steam roller. If viewers can read text and crayon-like text describing the location, time of day, and feelings, then the image can carry "copyright/full-attribution/no-sales or resales/no 3rd-party-collection-use" info.

        If only the damned phones in the USA came with such watermarking AND steganographic software BY DEFAULT, rather than for free, users could be taught their inalienable right to not have their copyright stolen from them. But, then, fb, instagram, and all number of other sites would scream murder and end the world -- or the lives of those such as us who decry their greed for free photos they intend to monetize without permission and without compensation.

        Hobbyists who misappropriate works without attribution get slammed in courts, and depending on the medium, get ungodly fines. Corporations do it, and most of them could expect to get off free, even if the work they use is the next undiscovered Ansel Adams photo. Stripping the metadata makes it nearly impossible for the specific originator of a photo to be found or compensated, even if out of 985 claimants only 1 or two have originals that are exact vantage/shooting point matches.

        Engineers and others are taught to be clear, concise, accurate, honest, and more, such as citing their sources, with their work and notes, in the name of preserving the integrity in and the respect for their respective fields. Marketers and boards of directors, driven by profits, seem to not value such admonitions.

        And, now, fecal-skinned politicos and lobbyists advocating the analogous wild west on IP against individuals by claiming orphaned works, it is almost akin to declaring war on the inventor. This should be smacked down harder and more painfully than any fake wresting *appears* to look.

        What nerve.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Big Brother

          Re: Hmmm Water-Steg

          " users could be taught their inalienable right to not have their copyright stolen from them. But, then, fb, instagram, and all number of other sites would ... end ... the lives of those such as us who decry their greed for free photos they intend to monetize without permission and without compensation."

          You know, I'm with you on your basic idea, but I find it doubtful that Facebook would carry out a plan to assassinate recalcitrant forum posters...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmmm

      Jeez.

      Maybe I'll print my email address onto transparancy and tape that over the lens of my phone, so all my pictures are "watermarked"...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Re: Hmmm

        "Maybe I'll print my email address onto transparancy and tape that over the lens of my phone, so all my pictures are "watermarked"..."

        Someone copies your watermarked file and crops out the watermark. Tada! it's orphaned! Along comes MegaCorp, finds the cropped photo and suddenly your holiday photos are advertising yoghurt for incontinents. If you want to take someone to court for it, you'll probably find that you have to hunt down someone on the other side of the world, with a different legal system, because the megacorp who profited from using your photo in an advert didn't do the cropping.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmmm

          There's always stenography - make your watermark invisible. I'm not sure how robust it can be as far as recompression or scaling of the image goes, but it might do the job - you don't need to store your biography in there, just enough data to show you're you and knew what you were doing.

    4. Hayden Clark Silver badge

      Re: Hmmm

      Adding EXIF data to your jpegs won't help, when most media organisations have a policy of stripping all metadata on publication.

      Plus - you can't read the EXIF data from a paper magazine!

    5. streaky
      FAIL

      Re: Hmmm

      Theory goes they'd have to prove that they couldn't trace the owner. If the only place it exists is on say flickr and it appears in say the daily mail - they be screwed.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    how to orlowsky everything

    see the article :/

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    See...

    Proof that if we did not use copyright to protect the media companies there would be no content created... oh wait!

  14. John Tserkezis

    I don't think this is about copyright at all, it's simpler than that.

    I don't believe that copyright is the reason why people are abandoning Instagram, because Facebook had these very policies from early on, and MANY quite happily posted all and sundry there (due to ignorance of the fine print, or otherwise).

    The widely publicised changes had the perceived effect that they're getting "less" now - through no action of their own. Like having to pay for something you were getting for free earlier. The fact that few if any, were actually *selling* their photos is irrelevant.

    I'm sure *some* did it because of the copyright, or at least the perceived loss of same, but that doesn't account for the huge numbers. The butler^H^H^H^H media did it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't think this is about copyright at all, it's simpler than that.

      Facebook photos tend to be blurry snaps from drunken nights out. Instagram photos are taken by people who view themselves as artists and as such they care more about their copyright than most.

      That Facebook had these policies from day one is beside the point. Facebook and Instangram target different demographics, although I admit their is probably some overlap.

      1. John Tserkezis

        Re: I don't think this is about copyright at all, it's simpler than that.

        That Facebook had these policies from day one is beside the point. Facebook and Instangram target different demographics, although I admit their is probably some overlap.

        I don't agree: it's entirely the point. Whatever terms and conditions, whatever demographic, whatever userbase Instagram *used to* have, is gone - it's all Facebook now. Whether you like it or not.

        Also remember Facebook's primary agenda here - to boost their signed-up user base. THAT is what is worth money to them, THAT is why they've done this (bought Instagram).

        The fact they offer a service to you or anyone else is not their primary objective, it's just the icing to attract a viable enough user base.

        You are not the customer, you are the product. While that statement may not be absolute, but it most certainly leans that way.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I don't think this is about copyright at all, it's simpler than that.

          Your original point was that "I don't believe that copyright is the reason why people are abandoning Instagram".

          Facebook are now trying to enforce their standard T&Cs (the ones that appropriate the copyright of uploaded works) against Instagram users. Instagram users are leaving en masse. That to me is a fairly clear indication that this is about copyright. The fact that Facebook users were happy about these T&Cs on Facebook is beside the point in regard to Instagram.

  15. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  16. dssf

    Z-Axis Minus .5 User Base....

    What really should matter statistically is how many new users of phones or acquirers of phones with Instagram preinstalled is how many of them:

    -- seek to remove it from the phone

    -- don't activate an acccount

    -- dissociate their accounts (if for a weird reason fb/phone carriers prearrange this as some "seamless experience") from Instagram and their logins and mobile

    -- seek firewall tools to block Instagram-user phone connecttivity

    -- take down their Instagram sites

    -- start redirection of their Instagram-related URLs/link

    -- are reported by photo hosting reporters as hunting for new photo repositories

    -- take to twittter to announce redirectt URLs

    I am not saying this to torpedo Instagram (FD: I do not have an Instagram account). But, this article could some day be updated if trending information shows more momentum that undermines the fallacy of "new users", since "new users" are aquired more akin to a Baleen whale intake rather than a self-chosen march to Instagram.

  17. Christian Berger

    I like how they labeled the line "DAU"

    "DAU" in German stands for "Dümmster anzunehmender User". Kinda like the GAU "Größter anzunehmender Unfall" (largest accident to be expected), DAU means "dumbest user to be expected".

    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%C3%BCmmster_anzunehmender_User

  18. The Alpha Klutz
    Megaphone

    all in all just another brick in the wall

    if you forget to put metadata in your image, i say FUCK YOU. get your shit took. what did you think would happen

    1. Steve K Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: all in all just another brick in the wall

      As mentioned above, metadata can be stripped easily. How about Steganographic incorporation of metadata- as long as it can survive image decompression or scaling?

  19. heyrick Silver badge

    Copyright or sales?

    "Think users don't care about copyright? Time to think again. The spectacular fallout from Instagram's photo landgrab continues."

    It seems to me that it isn't so much a matter of copyright so much as 1, somebody else profiting from your work (I wonder how many would stay if they were offered a slice of the action), and 2, the work may be used in a way or for a cause that the creator disagrees with. Thankfully the creators have copyright on their side, but I can't help feel that it might have gone a lot better if Instagram had set up an opt-in scheme where they act as image brokers and everybody gets a cut of the pie...instead of a big ol land grab.

    1. Turtle

      @heyrick: The Instagram Expropriation Fiasco

      "It seems to me that it isn't so much a matter of copyright so much as 1, somebody else profiting from your work (I wonder how many would stay if they were offered a slice of the action), and 2, the work may be used in a way or for a cause that the creator disagrees with. Thankfully the creators have copyright on their side..."

      See, the thing is, that what is used to prevent others from profiting from your work, and what is used to prevent your work being used in ways that you don't want, is... copyright. And you seem to know that, too.

      So your statement that the Instagram Expropriation Fiasco isn't a matter of copyright is mistaken. And if it wasn't for copyright, Instagram could just take your work. And in fact, *anyone* could just take your work no matter what Instagram said about it. "Copyright" is the reason why Instagram had to ask at all.

      So your post is very puzzling.

  20. Andy J

    3 things

    For those who are criticising this government remember that the orphan works 'grab' first appeared as Clause 43 of the Digital Economy Bill under Labour. As someone already said, it is the civil service (the IPO) who are behind this.

    Second it's the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill (specifically, clauses 65 to 69) not the "Business And Enterprise Bill" as stated by Orlo.

    And while this proposed legislation does worry me greatly, it is wildily inaccurate to say "Since most digital photographs don't have the creator's ID attached in the metadata, they're classified as "orphan works"." That kind of sloppy journalism does not help to win the argument. A more considered set of arguments can be found on the Stop 43 site: www.stop43.org.uk

    1. Mark .

      Re: 3 things

      Thanks for the link. Though I don't think their case is helped by using the same kind of language we get from the likes of the RIAA, regarding copyrights as being some god-given human right (as opposed to a state granted temporary monopoly - so the idea that the state might take that away shouldn't be inherently dangerous).

      Indeed, if this law was about orphaned music, and the opposition website went on about the livelihoods of artists, I can't help thinking the stance from people here would be rather different...

      I guess there is the point that it seems geared towards favouring businesses, and seems rather a two-faced stance given this originally appearing in the DRA, which tried to enforce copyright law more strictly, again to favour businesses. But beyond that, is there a reason why people who generally favour relaxed copyrights should oppose this bill?

      (My experience is that photographers often have much more pro-copyright views than say geeks.)

      1. Turtle

        @Mark .: Re: 3 things

        "Though I don't think their case is helped by using the same kind of language we get from the likes of the RIAA, regarding copyrights as being some god-given human right (as opposed to a state granted temporary monopoly - so the idea that the state might take that away shouldn't be inherently dangerous)."

        As long as we understand that your right to get paid for your labor, to enjoy and dispose of your property (because the state will enforce your right to monopolize the use of your house, car, etc), all your legal rights, in fact, are granted by the state and not "god-given human rights". And therefore, as you so eloquently put it, " the idea that the state might take that away shouldn't be inherently dangerous".

        Have an armband.

  21. Private Citizen.AU
    Headmaster

    Instagram users dont do christmas?

    Instagram suffers a downturn during the period December 17th - January 14th. Is it atypical for a site to suffer a downturn over the christmas break? one graph taken from one christmas does not prove a trend. dont know much about instagram or the monitoring site, but I am getting quite cynical about damn statistics.

    Are you sure that 7 million instagram users arent off, getting happy snaps of the family gatherings so they can come back and flood the world with what they did while I sat and did nothing but played 10 year old computer games.

  22. bag o' spanners
    Pirate

    Sensible photographers physically (visibly) tag their web-accessible work. That generally occurs in the editing part of the publishing process, prior to the jpeg scrunching and the launching of optimised product webwards.

    If you've spent large amounts of readies on a dslr, posh glass, lights, models, MUAs, and all manner of studio and location gubbins, you'll most certainly tag anything that started life in RAW or Tiff format, before uploading it to its jpegged destination.

    Not sure that they'd really be arsed to do that for the badly lit, fixed focus jobbies that dribble out of your average phone. Anything which is going direct from a blurry phonecam lens covered in takeaway grease and pocket fluff, to a vanity web podium for instant gratification, is unlikely to be regarded as particularly theftworthy. It's the equivalent of an instamatic snapshot.

    Squirting some oversaturated colours into said snapshot to make it look amazingly "artistic" to a few drunk mates may satisfy the average airhead's desire for peer recognition, but it doesn't produce much in the way of commercially viable artstuff.

    It is, of course, perfectly possible to painstakingly potatochop the visible semi-transparent tag out of a pro photo, but the cost of getting someone to do it properly doesn't really make commercial sense in the real world. They'd be working on an optimised jpeg version that contains a max of 200-400kb of data, rather than the 25-50 mb in the original. Producing the original RAW or Tiff file in court with all the EXIF data intact is a guaranteed win, no matter how big and greasy the copyright violator happens to be. Which may explain why digital content creators are so obsessive about backups.

    1. Anne-Lise Pasch
      FAIL

      Yes, but if I legally license your 25-50mb file, crop it a little, remove the tags, drop it on a server, then *someone else* can *legally* use it because its now an orphaned work.

      That's why this is a bag of fail.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Easy, just don't do it.

    The Internet is not your forever friend.

  24. Mark .

    More copyright, or less copyright?

    Can someone clarify the specific objections, that don't come from a general pro-copyright POV - I mean, usually Governments try increase Government law, which usually gets much objection from places like The Reg (and myself). One of the commonly cited problems with copyright law is the problem of orphaned/abandoned works.

    So for once we have a Government relaxing copyright law, and that's a bad thing too? Is it simply that it's a different group of people criticising, or is there something I'm missing?

    I mean, if you support say, 14 year copyright terms, that applies to all _your_ content too. And complaining about commercial exploitation is a red herring, as that would be allowed too, once copyright expires.

    If orphaned works are really determined by meta-data, then that would be dumb, but if so, then this law would legalise most filesharing (and more), since many files (e.g., plain CDs) don't have metadata! But I suspect that the law isn't quite that simple?

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